Vasectomies are one of the most common procedures performed by urologists in the U.S., with more than 500,000 done each year. It is a low-cost, low-risk procedure that can be done in an office setting and is a 99% effective, permanent sterilization option for men. The process is so straightforward that it is not unheard of for urologists to perform it on themselves.
Vasectomy: What to Expect
The vasectomy is typically performed using one small incision made in the center of the scrotum. The vas deferens is a small tube that carries sperm from the testicles to the ejaculatory ducts. There is one such tube connected to each testicle. Part of each tube is removed, and the open ends are clipped to interrupt the flow of sperm.
The procedure is typically performed in the doctor’s office using mild sedation. If preferred, deeper sedation can be administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. It’s worth knowing that you will not feel pain during the procedure.
Recovery after a vasectomy is relatively straightforward. Most patients take approximately one week off work, during which they should rest and avoid strenuous activity and lifting. A patient may experience some swelling and slight discomfort in the several days after the vasectomy, but this will improve rapidly. While the vasectomy is very safe, our biggest concern is infection. This usually presents as worsening pain or redness at the procedure site. This typically comes along with fever. Be sure to call our office if you experience any of these.
It is important to remember that sperm is not eliminated immediately after a vasectomy. Sperm is present in a man’s semen for up to three months after the procedure. Dr. Natale will perform a semen analysis to check for any sperm a few months after your procedure and give you the all-clear. As such, you should practice birth control as if you did not have a vasectomy for those first few months.
Studies have shown that although the ejaculation of sperm is prevented, there are no significant long-term effects on the testicles themselves. After recovery from the procedure, a man and his partner should notice no difference during sex: ejaculation (minus the sperm) and orgasm should feel the same. An uncomplicated vasectomy does not cause erection problems.
In rare cases, the vas deferens can grow back together, thus reversing the effects of the procedure. Should this happen, you will be able to get your partner pregnant.
It is worth noting that a vasectomy is considered a permanent procedure, and a man should only choose to pursue this option if they are confident they will not want to conceive biologically in the future. That said, vasectomies can be reversed. These reversals are most effective within ten years after the initial vasectomy. However, vasectomy reversals are complex and relatively expensive, and moreover, they are not always successful.
Can a Man Still Ejaculate After a Vasectomy?
Yes. A man’s sex life and function will remain the same after a vasectomy. However, there will be no sperm in the ejaculate. This means that after a successful vasectomy, a man cannot get their female partner pregnant. You should experience no adverse effects on erectile function, libido, or testosterone production.
The decision to have a vasectomy should be made only after an open discussion with your partner.
Contact Vasectomy Specialist Dr. Natale Today
When ready for a vasectomy, look no further than board-certified urologist Richard Natale, MD, in Concord and Mint Hill, North Carolina. Dr. Natale will answer any questions and ease your concerns about the procedure. Call (704) 786-5131 or request an appointment now.